On leaving, goodbyes, and answered prayer

Just last week, Amy and I re-watched the latter part of The Office Season 7. If you’re not familiar with the show, the boss and main character Michael Scott, bids farewell to his work “family” to start a new life in Colorado with his fiancee. It’s really kind of a sad episode, mainly because in all his quirkiness, immaturity, insensitivity, and insecurity, he really was a good boss who loved his employees and got the most out of them. I felt the same way! Because he wanted to avoid the difficulty of goodbyes, he penned Friday as his last day while Thursday afternoon plane tickets remained hidden in his pockets.

I didn’t lose a Michael Scott per se, but an influential mentor in my life and at Harbor just moved away from us. And, that rascal pulled a Michael Scott-esque type exit. Jeanne was sick and so their supposed penultimate Sunday proved to be their last. Though it wasn’t planned this way, I would be surprised if Larry would have written the script any differently!

Church folks move away, and that has always been quite sad for me. Yet I know, it will bring a great deal of happiness to others (in their case family) as well as their new church family. Strangely enough, or perhaps more appropriately, Larry will continue to run Pro Presenter for a church plant which meets in a YMCA. Sound familiar? That church prayed for such a person. So our loss is their gain, and another church gets a good one. Or rather a good two.

Making some people happy will always make others sad. That’s the deal with love: you will always have to love some people less, and some people more. I get it. The same thing was true for us when we left great friends and a great church in West Virginia.

And of course I’ll miss Jeanne, who proved to be a great mentor to my wife Amy, among the many things she did for our family/church in the course of their time at Harbor. It was really her first mentor since college, so for her I’m incredibly grateful.

One last little anecdote. Larry and Jeanne came to Harbor’s final core group training, the one where we read names of people we had been praying for  (many of whom eventually did come to Harbor and stay). Each person read about five, and Larry actually read his own name (we didn’t use last names). Too funny. Sometimes, in the strange providence of God, we  we can become answers to our own prayers without realizing it.

Fortunately for me, he ALWAYS checks email. I can still send questions his way.

In the mean time, I’ll continue to pray for more visitors, more members, more people plugged in, and more volunteers. Without volunteers, we simply can’t get this  job done. I’m thankful for all of you who give of your time, talent, treasure to labor alongside each other in order to see this work grow, bless, serve, and one day, multiply.

Lord, please send us more workers, for the harvest is plentiful.


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